MSCI211 Chapter Notes - Chapter 8: Fiedler Contingency Model, Situational Leadership Theory, John Kotter

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Chapter 8: Leadership
Leadership and management are two terms (managers promote stability while leaders
press for change and only organizations that embrace both sides of the contradiction
can survive in turbulent times John Kotter
Concept of leadership just be distinguished from the concept of
Leaders establish direction by developing a vision of the future (they align people by
communicating this vision and inspiring them to overcome hurdles (leaders need to
develop followers, managers implement the vision and strategy provided by leaders,
coordinate and staff the organization and handled day to day problems.
Organizations need strong leadership and strong management for optimal effectiveness
Leadership as Supervision
Theories focused on the supervisory nature of leadership- that is, leaders managed the
day to day functioning of employees. The three general types of theories that emerged
o Trait theories, which propose that leaders have a particular set of traits that
makes them different from nonleaders
o Behavioral theories, which propose that particular behaviour make for better
leaders and
o Contingency theories, which propose that the situation has an effect on leaders
Trait theories: are leaders different from others?
o Focus on personal qualities and characteristics
o Emerged in the hope that if it were possible to identify the traits of leaders, it
would be easier to select people to fill leadership roles
o Leaders who like being around people and are able to assert themselves
(extraverted), are disciplined and keep commitments they make (conscientious)
and are creative and flexible (open) do have an advantage when it comes to
leadership, suggesting that good leaders do have key traits in common
o Another trait that may indicate effective leadership is emotional intelligence (EI)
A core component of EI is empathy (can sense others needs)
o Traits can predict leadership and do a better job at predicting the emergence of
leaders and the appearance of leadership than in actually distinguishing between
effective and ineffective leaders
o Provides a basis for selecting the right people for leadership
Behavioral theories: do leaders behave in particular ways?
o Implied we could train people to be leaders and has advantages over trait
o The Ohio state studies:
Identify independent dimensions of leader behaviour
Initiating structure is the extent to which a leader is likely to define and
structure his or her role and those of employees in order to attain goals
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Consideration is the extent to which a leader’s job relationships are
characterized by mutual rust, respect for employee’s ideas and regard for
their feeling
A leader high in consideration helps employees as equals and expresses
appreciation and support
o The Michigan Studies:
Locate behavioral characteristics of leaders that appeared related to
performance effectiveness
Employee-oriented leaders emphasized interpersonal relations by taking
a personal interest in the needs of employees and accepting individual
differences among them; the production-oriented leaders emphasized
the technical or task aspects of the job-focused on accomplishing the
group’s task
Employee-oriented leadership is being closely related to the Ohio state
dimension. Similar to consideration
Production-oriented leadership is similar to initiating structure
When subordinates experience a lot of pressure because of deadlines, leaders who are
people-oriented will increase employee satisfaction and performance
When its clear how to perform the task and what the goals are, leaders who are people-
oriented will increase employee satisfaction, while those who are task-oriented will
increase dissatisfaction
The followers of leaders who are high on people orientation are more satisfied with
their jobs, more motivated and have more respect for their leaders
Leaders who are high in task orientation show higher level of group and organization
productivity and receive more position performance evaluations
Contingency theories: does the situation matter?
o Situational, or contingency, theories of leadership try to isolate critical
situational factor that affect leadership effectiveness
o The theories consider the degree of structure in the task being performed, the
quality of leader-ember relations; the leader’s position power, the clarity of the
employees’ role
o Consider four situational theories
Fiedler contingency model: proposes that effective group performance
depends on the proper match between the leader’s style and the degree
to which the situation gives the leader control
Fiedler created the least preferred co-worker (LCP) questionnaire
to determine whether individuals were mainly interested in good
personal relations with co-workers and thus relationship-oriented
or task-oriented
Next step is to match the leader with the situation
o Leader-member relations: the degree of confidence, trust
and respect members have for their leaders
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o Task structure: the degree to which the job assignments
are procedurized
o Position power; the degree of influence a leader has over
power variables such as hiring, firing promotions and
salary increase
Next step is to evaluate the situation in terms of these three
variables. Stated that the better the leadership-member relations,
the more highly structured the job, and the stronger the position
power, the more control the leader has
Suggested that task-oriented leaders perform best in situations of
high and low control, while relationship-oriented leaders perform
best in moderate control situations
In a low control situation (which is marked by poor relations, ill-
defined tasks, and low influence), task orientation may be the
only thing that makes it possible to get something done.
In a moderate- control situation, the leaders’ relationship
orientation may smooth the way to getting things done.
Because Fielder views an individual’s leadership style as fixed,
there are only two ways to improve leader effectiveness.
o First, you can change the leader to fit the situation, second
alternative is to change the situation to fit the leader, by
restructuring tasks or increasing or decreasing the leader’s
power to control factors such as salary increases
promotions, and disciplinary actions.
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